Grace and Faith Exemplified

Second Kings 18-19 and Isaiah 36-37 relate one of the most serious challenges Jerusalem faced against her enemies. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, came into Judah, subdued 46 cities, and wanted to capture Jerusalem. Hezekiah, feeling threatened by the presence of the Assyrians, made several preparations. The writer of 2 Kings said in 20:20, “And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?”

Ezra, in 2 Chronicles 32:1-8, adds a few more details. He spoke of not only addressing the water supply but fortifying the walls around the city, making weapons and shields, setting captains over the people. He gave an enthusiastic speech. He said, “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” Afterward, “the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” Hezekiah clearly trusted God, but he also had the wisdom to make preparations against the Assyrian enemy.

Could something be learned here of grace and faith? God graciously saved the city of Jerusalem and Hezekiah for David’s sake through the angel of the Lord who killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. But Hezekiah manifested great faith in God and acted to provide defenses for the city. Likewise, God graciously provided salvation through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:9). But man has to accept it by virtue of believing in Him (Romans 3:28), then repenting of sins (Acts 17:30), confessing His name (Romans 10:10), and submitting to water baptism (1 Peter 3:21). The Bible is full of examples that teach this fundamental truth about how mankind is saved from his sins — if we will only see it.

Kyle Campbell

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